There's no question that I am psyched for the upcoming trip to Savannah! In case you missed it, I am returning to the scene of my second marathon (November 2012). It was THAT race where I recorded my first and only sub-4 marathon (3:58:49).
I'm asked often what my biggest hurdle is during marathon training. It's easy: overcommitting to races and my hamstring.
I have a hard time saying "no" to amazing race opportunities that come my way. It is a privilege to be asked to participate in these races so I don't want to miss out. Plus who wouldn't want to use a race as a training run - you get medals and beer after! :)
Well... I had a 20-miler on the schedule for Saturday, September 19. But I would be doing the Reach The Beach Relay race that weekend. When asked which leg for the race we wanted, I pleaded for as many miles as possible. I wanted to get as close to 20 as possible. Well I walked away with a leg that totaled 19.8 miles.
Now some may say that doesn't count as a long run since the miles are broken up over 24 hours.
To them I say NO! Haha. With little sleep, riding around in a van and temps in the 90s - I absolutely will count that experience as my long run.
I also knew I would have the opportunity to do an actual 20-miler this past weekend (Saturday, October 3) so I wasn't too worried about the one in September.
Speaking of this weekend's 20-miler. Boy was it a mental hurdle. I would be running the entire 20 miles solo and without music. I could listen to music, but I have been training without it for so long that it would be weirder to start using it again. Plus I like the challenge of being alone with my thoughts. ;)
The morning started off on the wrong foot as I overslept for the run by 2 hours. Apparently my body decided sleep was more important than an early start time. I gave in and was happy I did. The weather wasn't pretty - it was windy, raw and overcast. It did however give me the opportunity to try out my new New Balance jacket (which was awesome)!
I didn't feel like heading to the Charles River to run so I got creative at home. I figured out four different courses (6.2, 4, 5.15, 4.65), which would total 20 miles and end right at Dunkin' Donuts. #Priorities
Did you like my makeshift water stop there? It was on point in my opinion.
In all honesty, the run was awesome. Pace felt good. My mind was occupied with life and thinking about what loop I would do next to complete the next portion of the run.
The only downside? And the thing that has been my biggest concern since Day 1?
My hamstring. The right hamstring which has been giving me trouble for well over a year now is still nagging. I was seeing a PT, but I wasn't seeing improvement and my work schedule changed. So for now I continue to work on strengthening the glutes and stretching it out.
The upside? It hasn't gotten any worse. It is this same nagging pain that has been lingering.
What will the final month of training look like?
Two fun race weekends (Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn and Runner's World Half & Festival) and two relaxing weekends at home. Yay! I like that I will have two weekends at home before hitting the road again for Savannah.
Luckily I captured the 1:4X I needed for Run Disney corral placement at ZOOMA Women's Half on the Cape on September 26 so I can take the next two weekends of racing easy.
With the training schedule laid out, my main focus is on nutrition and getting as much sleep as I can. I have seriously neglected the sleep aspect of life and it is showing. I am working on getting a better bedtime and setting up a good workout schedule around my new job.
Overall, I feel good. I remind myself on a daily basis that whatever will happen on race day will happen. There are so many factors out of my control - weather, course, wardrobe malfunctions and which Dani shows up that day - that I cannot worry or hyper focus on the results. I am one that trusts my training and is open to adjusting on the fly. I was telling a friend the other day - I will not pass up a good selfie or a potty break mid-run because of time. It just isn't me! :)
What do you focus on within the final month of a big race?